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Everybody is a winner

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I was doing an OA unit election this evening and everything went well till i got a call on thw way honme from an ASM (not the SM or the parent) asking about the results. after sharing that the election was solid he told me of his concerns about that a scout wasnt elected. he called is "heart breaking" that the scout has been passed over multipule times. He then asked if there was somthing we could do to change the election, weather it was do another election or somthing else.


I'm at a loss. i know how this is going to be handeled and thsi isnt a thread about OA or OA elections. What really bothers me now is the attitude from the troop the everyone is a winner. Personaly i belive its not the way to look at scouting because its simply not true. What are some other opinions or storys facing the idea the "everyone is a winner".

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Ah, we had something similar a couple of years ago. To make a long story short, there were 6 eligible Scouts for OA Ordeal and only 5 made it. Sure, the one Scout was very disappointed but he learned that being a jerk to others didn't earn him Brownie points. He wised up. Had we given him a "hey it's okay everybody's a winner" attitude, I couldn't guarantee he would have changed.


The only thing heart-breaking is that people truly believe kids can't have their feelings hurt otherwise they'll grow up miserable and live by the river in a van.

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We had this problem early in my sons career, but OA elections changed a few years into it, that allowed more scouts could be voted in. Since then, we never had the problem, as the amount of scouts wanting to be in OA out numbered the amount of slots we could elect for..


There are other reasons that a scout may not be elected then it is because he is a jerk.. Obviously he is not the favorite of the other scouts, but it could be for reasons he may not be able to control, kids can be cruel even in a scouting program.. It may be his religion, ethnical background, a physical condition whatever that has made him an outcast.


I suppose you are right, nothing can be done (at least from your side) to force the other scouts to elect him, or to let him in without being elected. I would just put the ball back into the ASM's court, is there some way he can figure out the crux of the problem and either work with the scout himself if he is doing something that aggrevates the other scouts, or work with the troop themselves so that they can see who really wants the OA positions and would become active OA members, rather then having it be a popularity vote..


I really disliked it when someone who wanted OA didn't make it, and those that did get elected, never bothered to go to the ordeal.. What a waste!

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Unfortunately there is nothing you can do. Do not get pressured into changing results, it will only cause greater problems. I speak with some expereince on this matter after one incident when I was a CA.


Grant you I was elected under the old rules where only 1/2 the number of eligible scouts were allowed to be written on the ballot. But I didn't get into the OA until my 3rd year eligible. 1st year wasn't a big disappointment as Those who did get in were truly worthy. Second year was tremendous disappointment. Between first and second election, I was the ASPL who did more SPL duties than anything and had a lot of support. One of the guys who got in did so only b/c the new scouts who had just joined the troop a month before, and eligible to vote, had his little brother in the den who campaigned for him. Big brother never did the Ordeal and shortly dropped out after getting Eagle. Third time was the charm. Got in, got Brotherhood a year later, eventually got super active in AIA and ceremonies and became a Vigil.


So do let the scout get down.



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Um, yeah that's easy to answer, "No, it is what it is...."


IMHO sometimes the OA election tells more about the Scout who didn't get voted for than those who did... "Life Lesson"



not a friend to every Scout (even a Scout that is active outside the Troop could do this).

not involved with the Troop

not giving back to 1st year Scouts

not serving the Troop (Troop Guides, SPL,PL, etc...)

Not participating in Troop Activities



I also see these Scouts suddenly showing up and asking for help on Eagle Projects when they don't know any of the last 2-3 years of new Scouts (these boys have the most time to give).


Your right though, "Everybody is a whiner" these days.



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Perhaps you're right. But I honestly don't think politics should play a part in OA election. As DG says, when deciding on who should be in the OA,


a friend to every Scout

involved with the Troop

gives back to 1st year Scouts 9 and I would add ALL scouts inthe patrol and troop)

Serving the Troop (Troop Guides, SPL,PL, etc...)

Participates in Troop Activities

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Oh, the soul searching post-election!


We had one boy who had to figure out that practical jokes needed to go before he could be worthy of votes. I thought that would be the worst, but then ...


We had a boy who didn't get elected until the fourth try. He was notorious for turning every conversation into some sexual innuendo or another.


His parents couldn't understand it. True, he was a hard worker. He would help younger scouts. He was friendly enough to every scout. But his mouth made the little ones uncomfortable. (And that's only what we would hear him say and call him on it and he'd straiten up, for a day or so.)


How do you spell that out to folks that you are in no position to ask a troop to overlook a fault like that?


Anyway, it got to the point (after year 3, I think) where anytime the boy would take a conversation with me and run it into the gutter, I would reply "And you wonder why?" He knew that I was referring precisely to those OA elections.


I confess, it was more to give me a few minutes peace than to help the boy's character. But, over time I think the message sunk in. He has cleaned up his act enough that this last election stuck. He's far more discrete about what he says. We just have to work on what he posts on Facebook after a girlfriend dumps him :(


As iron sharpens iron ...

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The new scouts had just joined and only knew one person in the troop really well: the brother. That's b/c brother was their DC, forced to by the way. Otherwise he was really inactive.


The problem got solved, when the PLC decided to push OA elections prior to the Crossovers joining the troop. The PLs and other Scouts were not happy with the elections, and brought it up at the PLC.


Thing is OA policy requires ALL members to vote, whether they joined that nite or have been in for years. And at the time abstentions counted against the folks, unlike today.


I know I've seen one troop tell their new members to abstain.

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Some adults today believe boys have a right to being in OA whole others believe that they have to earn it. The situation for each SM is explaining and justifying what they believe to those who don't agree with the results.


My explination was that during my time as a youth in scouts, only 2 scouts from each troop of a each minimum age 14 could be voted by the scouts to be a candidates for OA. Arrowmen back then were the best of the best and held in higher esteem than Eagles.


The problem Scoutmasters face today is that the number of scouts who don't get selected are in a minority and stick out. When I was a scout, the winners where the minority which allowed each individual looser to hide in the majority. Somethings just shouldn't have changed.



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It really bites when one has to actually earn something rather than having it handed to them so as to build up their self-esteem. For the welfare of the scout and his maturity to adulthood, learning this in Scouts is one of the few places he will have the opportunity. Yes, it sounds rather harsh, but if we are going teach self-confidence which will help them in their adult life, instead of catering to their self-esteem which gets them through childhood, it's a tough lesson that will pay off in the long run. I have never seen a scout who has developed strong and mature leadership skills in the troop not get elected to OA. It's easier to get votes when people willing follow rather than be told what to do.



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I have a question:


When conducting OA elections at a troop, isnt there one or two OA members there to represent the OA lodge or chapter?




What I am getting at is this: If somebody outside the troop comes to your unit and conducts an OA election, do they not leave with trhe voted for scout's names?


I would think that the OA , their matters and what they do is outside of the ASM.s juristictionm, authority, or whatever you want to call it.



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I'm not going to quote chapter and verse on election procedures. To quote Inigo Montoya, "Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up."


An OA unit election team consisting of youth members outside of the troop or team to conduct the election. Most times an adult adviser is there as well, but I remember no adviser on a few when I was a " GASer" i.e. 18-20YO range.


While one member is talking about the OA, or possibly showing a video on the OA, another member gets all the info needed, i,e, name, rank, contact info, # of days and nites camping etc, from the SM AND his signature approving all eligible scouts for election ( bold and caps for major emphasis more on that later). So that is where the SM's involvement come in, HE APPROVES THE SCOUTS TO GO ON THE BALLOT. (emphasis not shouting). If there are any problems with a scout, the SM can remove him from the eligible list. This is where it need to be resolved!


Ballots are made and passed out and the scouts write the names of who they think should be in the OA. Nowadays, everyone eligible can get their name written on the ballot.


FYI Prior to the mid 1990s (I think '93 or 94 thereabouts)only HALF of those eligible could be on the ballot. While theoretically possible for everyone to get elected ( And I had 1 SM brag to me how he did it too.) It usually didn't happen. Back to today's process.


Once the ballots are collected and tallied, an eligible Scouts needs 50% of the total votes turned in to become a candidate. If not one is elected, a second round of voting is done which is final. In the 20+ years of being in the OA, I have seen the need for a second round only 1 time.


Adults in the 18-2o age frame can vote with the youth and can be on the ballot if they meet the requirements, i.e. Had been FC or higher, 14 days and nites of campign including LT camp, etc,


Adults 21+ have to be nominated by the unit committee, and then approved by the lodge. Lodge approval varies from lodge top lodge. Also there is a ratio of how many adults can get nominated. I believe if a troop elects 1 scout, and they have up to 50 scouts, they can send in 1 leader. 51-100 scouts registered in the troop - 2 leaders, and multiple of 50 thereof. BUT a scout has to be elected. No Scout, no adult nominee.


Now here is where it gets interesting announcing who was elected. Most lodges do public call out ceremonies, but some do not. Most units wait for the announcement to be made at that time. Some units want it announced ASAP.


Also the SM has the right to know who was elected no matter when the announcement is made. BUT once they are elected, or not elected, THE RESULTS ARE FINAL! If an SM has issues with an eligible scout IT NEEDED TO BE DEALT WITH BEFORE HE SIGNED OFF ON THE FORM APPROVING THE CANDIDATES! (caps for emphasis and you'll see why in a moment).


I remember one time when an SM, in fact it was the same one who bragged about rigging an election so everyone got in under the old rules, approved a bunch of eligible scouts, but when told who was elected was furious and wanted me to remove one elected Scout, and replace him with another. He was getting belligerent with the election team and I intervened saying they were going to follow the rules. I also stated that if he had a problem with the scout, he should have taken care of it prior to signing the form approving the Scout. He said he didn't think the scout would get elected, but he now that he was, he wants him removed. After I said "No, they are going to follow the rules" a second time, he started cursing me out and saying I didn't know anything about the OA. He was still yelling and cursing as we left.



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